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Is Noble Energy, Inc. (NBL) a Good Stock to Buy?

Judging by the fact that Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) has witnessed declining sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it’s safe to say that there was a specific group of money managers that elected to cut their positions entirely last quarter. At the top of the heap, David M. Knott’s Dorset Management sold off the largest position of the “upper crust” of funds followed by Insider Monkey, totaling an estimated $10 million in stock. Charles Clough’s fund, Clough Capital Partners, also dropped its stock, worth about $8.4 million.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) but similarly valued. These stocks are International, Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:CTRP), Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX), Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA), and Genuine Parts Company (NYSE:GPC). All of these stocks’ market caps are similar to NBL’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
CTRP 50 2407729 7
EFX 34 528510 8
ULTA 40 2044715 4
GPC 23 347677 1

As you can see these stocks had an average of 37 funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1.33 billion. That figure was $1.37 billion in NBL’s case. International, Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:CTRP) is the most popular stock in this table, while Genuine Parts Company (NYSE:GPC) is the least popular one with only 23 bullish hedge fund positions. Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. This is a slightly negative signal and we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. In this regard International, Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:CTRP) might be a better candidate to consider a long position.

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